Tuesday, July 06, 2010

No freedom of the press in the Gulf

I get impatient with people who deride President Obama for "not doing more to stop the gusher" in the Gulf. I'm convinced that nobody knows how to stop it and Obama is clearly not ignoring it. It strikes me that people are just expressing misdirected anger out of fear and a sense of their own helplessness. However, Glenzilla finds the right target for our fury, government complicity in media suppression. This is rather stunning.
McClelland also described how BP has virtually bought entire Police Departments which now do its bidding: "One parish has 57 extra shifts per week that they are devoting entirely to, basically, BP security detail, and BP is paying the sheriff's office."
The incidents of media harrassment continue to pile up. A freelance photographer taking pictures for a joint PBS' Frontline and ProPublica on BP's other safety violations, such as their refinery in Texas that "spewed tens of thousands of pounds of toxic chemicals into the skies" two weeks before the company's rig in the Gulf collapsed," was detained and harrassed even though he was doing his work on public land.

The Coast Guard just issued new rules on media access that threaten to jail reporters for up to 3 years, along with imposing hefty fines for doing their job and informing the public. The justification, as always, is public safety and prevention of terrorism. I have to agree with Glenn. It smells more like a cover-up and it veers disturbingly close to police state tactics. [via QL]

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]

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